"Critical Issue" is a multimedia document that examines a particular issue being tackled by educators engaged in school improvement. Currently, more than 75 Critical Issues are available in the following 10 areas: Assessment, At-risk, Family and Community, Instruction, Leadership, Literacy, Mathematics and Science, Policy, Professional Development, and Technology in Education. For example, under Literacy, you'll find the Critical Issue "Using Technology to Enhance Literacy Instruction," as well as several other Literacy-related Critical Issues.
How are Critical Issue topics selected?
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) began online publication of Pathways Critical Issues in 1995. The initial selection of topics was the direct result of extensive surveys of national and regional educational policymakers, administrators, teachers, and researchers to elicit issues of critical interest to those engaged in education.
Topic selection continues to be largely influenced by NCREL research in consultation with education experts in the field. Each year, Pathways selects those research topics deemed timely, relevant, and crucial to school improvement. In addition, Pathways staff gathers data from other issue-scanning tools, such as educational data analysis, a variety of educational publications, university research reviews, national policy and news media, as well as individual suggestions from our online audience of professional educators.
If you'd like to suggest a topic for a future Critical Issue, please contact Pathways via any of the following methods:
Mail: Pathways, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563-1486
Critical Issues documents comprise the following ten components:
- Issue statement: Defines the problem or issue to be
- Overview: Synthesizes research and other information
explaining why this issue is a critical one.
- Goals: Sets objectives you might establish for your school.
- Action Options: Offers steps to help you reach your goals.
- Implementation Pitfalls: States problems frequently encountered
and how to avoid them.
- Different Points of View: Provides alternative views
about how to address an issue.
- Illustrative Cases: Presents the experiences of real
- Contacts: Lists people and agencies willing to advise
- References: complete reference listing following American Psychological
- Links: related links provide definitions and other Internet resources.
CRITICAL ISSUES DIRECTORY